A Call to Arms Series: Terrorizing the Triceps — Cluster Sets

TAGS: increase volume, triceps cluster set, back arms, Cory Mathews, cluster set, johnnie jackson, branch warren, arm training, triceps, bodybuilding, Josh Bryant

COACH

A hypertrophy enthusiast that has not done a bent-over rope triceps extension is about as common as a teetotaler at an Irish Pub.

The exercise in itself is far from unique, but the approach we will use is. We are going to attack this oldie-but-goodie exercise with one of my favorite methods: cluster sets. 

Enter the Cluster Set

What is a cluster set?

Cluster sets simply mean more sets and fewer reps. A traditional three-sets-of-eight-reps workout would become eight sets of three reps. I personally have used cluster sets while training IFBB Pro Bodybuilders such as Johnnie Jackson, Cory Mathews, and Branch Warren.


A Call to Arms: Terrorizing the Triceps — The Ultimate Superset


Smart strength athletes like cluster sets because they can produce greater amounts of force and velocity over the duration of sets.  I like them for the bodybuilder because they can get more work done in less time.

Here is what we are going do to blast the “back arms” into oblivion.

Instead of the crusty old three sets of 12, use the same weight you would for that scheme for five reps, rest 15, seconds and repeat this sequence for five minutes straight. You’ll get way more done in less time.

If you fail, lower the weight by 10-15 percent, continue lowering the weight by this amount on subsequent failures.

Tyrus Hughes Demonstrating Cluster Sets

You better check yourself before you wreck yourself! Cluster sets are not for those that lack testicular fortitude.

If you want to take your size and strength to the next level, abandon your current “cluster” you call training and give cluster sets a go. With exception of pre-exhaust training, these should fall toward the end of your training session; they will wipe you out.

Next we will look at eccentrically overloading your biceps.

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